July 10th, 2014

Tallahassee Tennis Blog: Boys Town After-school; Patel Wins Title


Boys Town
Boys Town North Florida began its first official after-school tennis program for approximately 25 foster children who live in one of the group homes located on the organization’s campus in Tallahassee.

Boys Town North Florida has been serving abused, neglected, and/or abandoned children and families since 1983 by partnering with local area agencies and businesses to enhance the quality and variety of care provided in the community. Recreational activities are routinely offered by Boys Town staff to augment the treatment provided to the children — making tennis a natural fit.

To initially fund the program, a $500 equipment grant was recently awarded to the organization by the USTA Florida Section Foundation.

Ms. Tonia Westerfield, the family homes director for Boys Town North Florida, was instrumental in securing the grant by having the organization join the USTA as an organizational member in late May, and by demonstrating a need for a program.

The inaugural program started on June 20 at the tennis courts located on Fourth Avenue and will run through Aug. 15 with the support of volunteers from the Tallahassee Tennis Association (TTA) and Tallahassee Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Affairs. The long term goal is not only to have the program become self sufficient, but to provide those children who desire to play competitively an opportunity to participate in other programs such as junior team tennis in order to further their skills.

Plans are currently under way for the TTA to start a junior team tennis league in the Fall. For more information about Boys Town North Florida and/or to volunteer for the program, please contact Tonia at tonia.westerfield@boystown.org.

Patel Wins Wheelchair Tennis Title

14421662774_d016e2e775_bSunil Patel of Tallahassee has been playing tennis since 1999 and competing in wheelchair tournaments since 2000.

He recently traveled to Queens, New York, where he competed in the 14th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tennis Tournament at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows.

At this tournament, he achieved a national #1 ranking by winning the Men’s Singles Division C event. This tournament brought together 94 players from around the world, including France, Japan, and Canada.

Sunil also competed this year in the Atlanta Open where he won both the singles and doubles in Division C and he competed in the Geranium Festival in McDonough, Georgia, where he won the singles in Division C.

In addition, he competed in the Pensacola Open this year where he won both the singles and the doubles in Division C. When Sunil is not competing he tries to give back to the game by volunteering. He volunteers for the Florida Outdoor Disabled Association (FDOA) and for children with special needs in the community.